MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- The Auburn University at Montgomery men's soccer team advanced to the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals Saturday, scoring four second-half goals en route to a 5-0 victory over Spring Hill in the opening round of the tournament.
The Warhawks (14-3-2) will now take on third-seeded Southern Wesleyan on Thursday, November 8, at the Emory Folmar Soccer Complex in Montgomery. The Warriors, currently ranked 11th in the NAIA, defeated William Carey 3-2 in overtime today to advance in the tournament. The match will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m.
"I thought the key today was the way we set the tempo from the beginning of the match," head coach Wulf Koch said. "We wanted them to defend for 90 minutes and not give them any hope that they might be able to capitalize on."
The Warhawks dictated the pace from the beginning of the contest, as junior Cesar Kestring put the team up 1-0 just 8:17 into the contest. Kestring netted his third goal of the season off a cross from sophomore Elvar Sigurdsson.
Despite being held scoreless for the remainder of the half, AUM finished with a 14-4 advantage in shots in the opening period.
Securing the one-goal lead to start the second half, the Warhawks erupted in the period, with freshman Agust Arnarson leading the charge with a pair of goals.
"For him (Arnarson) to have 11 goals as a freshman is something to be proud of," Koch said. "I hope he continues to have opportunities to add to that total."
Arnarson pulled in a deflected ball and smashed his first goal in between the diving Badgers' goalkeeper and the right post in the 58th minute. He added his second goal at the 73:41 mark of the match on a pass from junior Christian Holthaus.
Freshman Sebastian Wladyko pushed the lead to 4-0 with 16:54 remaining in the match when he scored on penalty kick, while sophomore Dagur Jonsson punched a score with under four minutes to play.
For the match, AUM held a 32-8 advantage in total shots, with Arnarson and Sigurdsson leading the way with eight each.
In goal, junior Vignir Johannesson picked up his seventh shutout of the season, stopping three shots, including two in one-on-one scoring opportunities.
"He (Johannesson) is very good in one-on-one situations," Koch said of his junior goalkeeper. "He is experienced and brave in goal."
Tyler Hartlage led the Badgers with two shots, while Jacob Files stopped six shots in goal.
For information about the upcoming SSAC Tournament semifinals, visit www.SSACsports.com.